Ferrysburg bridge to undergo more testing, remain closed

Posted at 11:23 PM, Oct 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-07 23:23:41-04

FERRYSBURG, Mich. — It’s been a hot button issue in Ottawa County and after being closed in June, Smith’s bridge in Ferrysburg will remain shut down.

 That decision, alongside the vote to do further testing on the bridge was made at the Ferrysburg City Council meeting Monday night.

On Monday, the engineering firm hired by residents to inspect the bridge, presented their findings and answered questions from city leadership.

They offered options on how to extend the lifespan of the bridge, which was built in the 1970s.

Many in the area still have concerns about its safety and the amount of money it will take to maintain the bridge used by about 6,000 cars a day.

A total replacement would cost upwards of $13 million.

That’s money that was actually vetoed in spending bills approved by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Ultimately, the city voted to do more testing to see what is viable moving forward.

“The relatively small amount of money for the testing I would like to make a motion at this time that the bridge remain closed until such time testing can be done and the bridge can be repaired or replaced in a manner that can guarantee the safety of those who transit it,” Ferrysburg Mayor Pro-Temp Timothy O’Donnell said.

 “The public is anxious for some progress to be made on this bridge and further testing is the next step to find a solution,” resident Jake Stearley said.

The city will hope to have the proposal up for bids by the end of the week.